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Swivel Installation Considerations

Feb 13th 2019

Occasionally we receive returned rifle sling swivels that failed due to incorrect installation. Some folks might not understand exactly how the new models of QD (Quick Disconnect) rifle slings work. Some of you might be thinking; "How hard can it possibly be to put on a sling swivel?", well there are a few considerations to pay attention to if you tend to break them. Please refer to the image below for parts terminology.


Years ago most swivels locked onto the rifle studs by simply spinning the lock nut down until it stops. The problem with that design is the lock nuts easily loosen up on their own from rifle movement and shooting. Once the lock nut becomes loose, the swing gate is able to be pulled away from the body of the swivel from the pulling tension of the rifle sling. Once the swing gate is pulled away from the swivel body it can turn to open and the swivel can slip off the stud or worse, the stud pin can bend.

Combatex swivels fixed that issue with a free spinning lock nut. It works by allowing the lock nut to spin freely once it is fully tightened. The only way to loosen the lock nut is to manually pull it away from the swivel and turn counter clockwise until it catches on the threads to unscrew. It cannot loosen from vibrations, movement or shooting.

So yes, the swing gate side of all swivels can be pulled away from the swivel body to disconnect them if the lock nut is not completely screwed in. You CAN open the swivel by pulling from the other side and not pressing in on the lock nut side.

In the picture below you can see what happens when the lock nut is not fully screwed in and tension is put on the rifle sling by pulling it to the side. The stud can push the swing gate open and with just a slight movement the gate can be turned open.


You could be carrying your rifle around like this without even knowing it.

If you put enough tension or sideways leverage on the rifle sling in the picture below what will happen? Sling up tight for a precision shot, pick up a heavy rifle by the sling at an angle. What happens next? Nothing good if the swivel pin isn't supported at both ends.


Here's one outcome...

It doesn't matter what brand or what material the swivel is made from, it simply cannot withstand that kind of leverage unless both sides of the pin are supported. The only way to do that is to make sure that the lock nut is fully screwed in and the swing gate is closed fully around the pin

Combatex swivel are tested to hold over 250 pounds. The only piece to ever break at max weight is the loop, not the body. The only way for this kind of damage to occur is if the swivel isn't locked onto the stud correctly.

Admittedly there are some bad pieces that sneak through quality control out of the thousands that are sold but 98% of the failed parts we receive are from improper installation.

Please contact us if you have ANY problem with your swivels. We will replace them even if any damage was your fault. It is easier to just email us and get a replacement rather than taking the time to leave bad reviews. If we don't know about your issue, we can't fix it.